Hapag-Lloyd mulls congestion surcharge on boxes moving via Chennai port

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on August 16, 2011

Hapag-Lloyd, the German shipping line, is mulling to slap congestion surcharge on all containerised cargo moving through Chennai port, according to shipping industry sources.

The indication that is available so far suggests that the surcharge, likely to be effective from September 5, will be $50/TEU on xport shipments and $65/TEU on imports.

Chennai port, it is complained, is showing signs of increased congestion, impacting terminal productivity as well as vessel sailing schedules. The single gate access to port is causing a huge problem as the truckers are required to wait for hours in long queues to enter the terminal. As a result, the cost is rising, it is pointed out.

Between end June and mid July, the container truck operators went on a strike in protest against increased vehicle turnaround time leading to huge import backlog estimated at 10,000-12,000 containers in the yard.

Chennai port, if the proposed surcharge is enforced, will be the second port in the country to attract such a levy, after the Jawaharlal Nehru port, which has been hit by dislocation in operations caused by quay-crane replacement at the Government-run terminal, forcing many lines to slap the surcharge.

In 2010-11, the container throughput at Chennai port was 1.5 million TEUs and between April to July this year 5,52,000 TEUs.

It might be noted that 75 per cent of the country's sea-borne containerised traffic is handled by the JNPT and Chennai and any disruption in the normal operations of these two ports, therefore, is bound to have considerable effect on the country's foreign trade.

Published on August 16, 2011

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